Fenland Council wants new homes to pass ‘green test’ to include composting, cycle storage and electric car charging points

Points could be awarded if you provide new housing in Fenland with a water butt

Points could be awarded if you provide new housing in Fenland with a water butt - Credit: Archant

All homes house built in Fenland could be forced to pass a ‘green test’ to include such things as a composting area, cycle storage rack and electric car charging points.

The vision for the future has been drafted by a team of officers at Fenland Hall led by corporate director Gary Garford who will ask councillors to approve them next week.

Mr Garford’s ‘resource use and renewable energy’ policy is key to the council’s objective of increasing upping renewable energy and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

So how will it work in practice? Quite easy, says Mr Garford, whose report says every green initiative will be awarded points with a minimum of ten for each home.

Developers who might identify other measures to meet this “reasonable contribution” will be invited to discuss these with council officers.


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But Mr Garford says that simply because an application passes the green test it won’t automatically follow that planning permission will be granted.

“It will be one factor in assessing a proposal,” says the report.

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“While a minimum of 10 points is desirable, developers are strongly encouraged to consider the potential economic, social and environmental benefits that could be derived through delivering additional measures.”

*The council is proposing two check lists – the first for “small scale measures” and the second for “more substantial measures”

*Three points will be awarded for any of the following:

*Ready-to-use use vegetable garden.

*A water butt for recycling and reducing treated water

*A composting bin to reduce landfill and create compost

Four points if you:

*Build a bike storage area for those homes without a garage – to encourage householders and their visitors to cycle

*Include an electric car charging point (rising to seven if you’re also connected to solar energy)

*Developers considering building flats will also be point scored and can, for instance, get two points for providing window boxes. These, say the report, can potentially reduce the fruit and vegetables people buy by enabling them to grow their own.

Companies are also being encouraged to use the points system – those that build a wind turbine, for instance, will immediately score eight points.

Companies putting in shower blocks will be also be rewarded; the council will give them four points since this will encourage employees to cycle knowing they can wash and freshen up before starting work.

The full 23 page report can be viewed on the council’s website.

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